Get started in web development today. Here are 9 basic tips everyone should know.

Get started in web development today

I have recently published a piece on “what no one tells you about working in web development” in which I shared some insights on how working on web development projects, well, works. Starting out in web development can be quite difficult, but it is a worthwhile adventure if well prepared. Here’s my web development tutorial with 9 useful tips that can help you make your start in web development a smooth one!

1. Learn the basics

LTFB – Learn the f* basics. Any further tip is useless if you do not know the basics of web development. If you find yourself struggling with programming and design, I’ve got some nice getting started guides for you on this blog. Try to pick a few topics and make yourself comfortable with basic requirements in web development.

Learn how to code in HTML, CSS & JavaScript

To learn the basics of programming, I’d recommend taking a course from on online course platform. There are tons of great programs to choose from out there: Hop over to treehouse or code academy and check out their classes.

There are different classes available on how to get started with HTML and CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, and many other programming languages. Start with classes in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and start exploring and building your own websites by creating a few static web pages.

After making yourself comfortable with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you could move on to learning about Ajax and jQuery, for example.

Learn jQuery easier with the Ultimate jQuery Cheat Sheet from webstie setup.

Learn how to design

Getting started in web development also requires some basic understanding of good design. Besides making yourself familiar with some design tools, I’d recommend learning the basic concepts of design. Learn how to think like a designer.

Teamtreehouse, for example, offers some great classes and materials on design. Lynda.com is another great resource.

Further educational resources

2. Do your research & get inspired

When starting out in web development, you’ll be reading a lot of articles and books, as well as other people’s code. You don’t have to come up with something nobody has ever seen before. There are tons of (open source) projects, code snippets, and free libraries available that you can use to build your first projects. You can gain a lot of inspiration from looking at the work of others.

Great ideas come from building on the ideas of others.

Further resources for research & inspiration:

  • Make use of code snippets on hsnipt.net
  • Discover the community of web developers on github.com
  • Find some design inspirations on pinterest.com
  • Check out the search engine for design ideas at niice.co

This article was brought to you by Usersnap – a visual bug tracking and screenshot tool for every web project. Used by SaaS and software companies like Facebook, and AddThis.

3. Make use of free resources

Starting out in web development isn’t expensive Apart from your hardware. There are some great software products out there that you can use for free. However, it’s not easy to decide which people and resources to follow, when there are tons of them out there.

Whether you’re looking for free stock images, free design or dev tools, I’d recommend taking a look at the following collections of free resources:

  • Curated collection of tools for design, development and business: toolr.co
  • List of free tools to build your startup: startupstash.com

Further collections of free stuff:

4. Improve your design skills

These days, with ever-changing “design standards” it’s not only important to learn the basics of good design, but also to keep your design skills up-to-date. It doesn’t matter how good you are today but how fast you improve your design skill every day. I really like these 17 tips from wikiHow on how to improve as a designer.

Get a design tool

For more and more web designers, Sketch has become the successor of Photoshop. I, personally, think it is more intuitive and easier to learn than Photoshop. Check out some free tutorials, which can save you a lot of a time.

5. Make yourself familiar with the concept of requirements engineering

Working on digital products or any other web project not only requires skills on how to code or design, but also some basic organisational skills.
The framework of requirements engineering helps you (and your clients) to formulate, document and maintain different requirements for your product or project.

Identify relevant requirements

Identifying, formulating, documenting and monitoring all your requirements can become quite a mess if you’re not using the right tool.

Apart from well-known project software for web development like JIRA or Basecamp, there are more and more really awesome tools available on the market. They range from collecting your requirements/tasks to planning your milestones to analysing your project progress. Take a look at some of these awesome project management tools and figure out if one of them fits your project and workflow.

get started in web development tutorial

6. Get a programming-friendly text editor

A programming-friendly text editor is must-have for every web developer. It’s the place where you’ll spend most of your time, so make sure you secure the best option available to you. Whether it’s Vim, Sublime Text, Notepad++, or Eclipse — choose the tool which is the best fit for you.

7. Use frameworks

Frameworks can make your life in web development a lot easier.

Since most projects, you’ll be working on are not particularly unique, you’ll probably end up making use of different frameworks.
There are different frameworks available, depending on the area you’re working in. Bootstrap, for example, is one of the most popular frameworks nowadays. Furthermore, there are some great front-end frameworks like Ember or Modernizr.

8. Track bugs – from the start

Most people think bug tracking is not for beginners. But having a workflow in place where you collect and track bugs and allow your users to report bugs is essential for a successful web development project.

Of course, we eat our own dog food but we can really recommend the Usersnap Bug Tracker. Why? Because it has a screenshot tool that lets you annotate screens directly in your browser, which makes sharing stuff with your fellow developers and designers much easier. Just give it a try, it’s completely free for 15-days, and you don’t even need a credit card to sign up: usersnap.com

9. Always keep learning

Always keep moving forward with your new coding and design skills.

Learn, test, build and iterate over and over again.

That’s the only way to becoming better at what you’re doing right now.

get started in web development and keep learning

Any other great web development tutorial recommendations? Let us know and smash that feedback button!

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